The black powder charge exploded in a muffled baritone rasp—half bang, half whoosh. As the torpedo shot down the tube, it tripped a lever that started the torpedo’s engine, so that by the time the long, silver cigar shape was hurtling through the air, the propellers were already spinning. When it hit the water, the splash made Swenson-Jensen think of a fat lady doing a belly flop. With the fizzing of bubbles, it was gone. As it plunged onward, it brushed aside floating clouds of microscopic sea life, causing its wake to glow luminescent green, glistening like the aurora borealis.
Ben started his stopwatch. Call it: sixty-five seconds.
Only then did it cross his mind that there’d be a hundred men on the target ship. But it made no impression emotionally.
Abaft, Parrott must have gotten overly excited. It launched torpedo after torpedo at the same ship.
I count five, thought Ben. That leaves just one torpedo in their starboard mounts.
Then he was pretty sure he heard Paul Jones at the end of the line launch one too.
Everybody needs to just settle down a little. We came for the transports, and we’ve just wasted eight torpedoes on a crummy destroyer escort.
These were point blank shots, probably only a thousand yards. A hundred Japanese were about to become charred flesh.